18/10/2013 16:11 BST

Jewish Heirs Demand Restitution Of Klimt's Beethoven Frieze Amid Extortion Claims

The family of a former Jewish art collector is demanding the restitution of a Gustav Klimt masterpiece that it claims was acquired by Austria after World War II under extortion.

The family's lawyer Marc Weber told the Austria Press Agency (APA) Wednesday that the heirs of Erich Lederer, the previous owner, had filed a restitution request with the Austrian culture ministry. The ministry confirmed to AFP that it had received the claim.

A famed example of Jugendstil art, the 34-metre-long (112-foot) and two-metre-high Beethoven Frieze -- or fresco -- is one of Vienna's tourism highlights.

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